Cool temperatures descended across the Central Plains this week, and along came the highest migration counts of the season:
9/20/11 Ottawa, Kansas
"I had to tell SOMEONE," wrote a Kansas man who works in a wholesale nursery. "We have about 2,500 Butterfly Bush plants. The past few days I've noticed an influx of Monarchs—but today there were hundreds (400? 500? 600?) nectaring on the plants."
9/20/11 Stillwater, OK
"Between noon and 12:05 today, I counted 38 monarchs nectaring and flying in our small backyard. Why so many this year? Perhaps because much of the surrounding prairie in KS, MO, and OK is in drought, and probably has little blooming."
The first two roosts were reported in Texas this week. Also reported was what a Texan calls a "small to medium" flight: 100 monarchs in one hour!
Enthusiasm was high in the eastern flyway, when a clear pulse of monarchs finally appeared this week. From Vermont to Virgina, monarchs were moving:
"Knowing I could report it, my daughter sent me a text, advising of a Monarch butterfly sighting in Essex Junction, VT."
"The magic returns! An hour and half before sunset I spotted about 200 monarchs roosting in the evergreen trees along the roadway," wrote a woman from Long Island, NY.
"They are flying by my front porch at about 100 a day. Every one has been on the same track!" came the word from Pennsylvania.
"We sat outside our school building and watched butterflies migrate south," wrote Highland High students from Virginia on Wednesday.
"The migration has arrived!" Dr. Brower proclaimed from his home in central Virginia on Monday. "Amazing that they suddenly appear." Dr. Brower caught 32 monarchs in 20 minutes as they nectared in his garden.